Christel House wants girls in India to know they can do anything. The school is encouraging them to learn about career opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Thirty girls from Grades 5-8 were invited to explore options at Nokia in Bangalore. It was an empowering experience. “Women are no less than men,” says Mini M., Grade 5. “I learned anything is possible with hard work and perseverance."
In coordination with GreenLightForGirls, an NGO that inspires girls to pursue STEM careers, the students were introduced to science, technology, engineering and math concepts. Hands-on experiments showed them how STEM can be fun and is everywhere around us. Mentors met the girls and showed them how to be content creators, not just consumers. “The workshop motivated me to pursue a career in the science field,” says Mini.
Dec 23, 2019
Unlocking Their Potential
By Amalia Howard - Digital Marketing Manager
For students in South Africa, gang violence is one of the biggest challenges says Christel House South Africa (CHSA) CEO Adri Marais. “How we deal with violence is one of the major keys to unlocking the potential of our students,” she says. Christel House provides a safe environment for kids to learn.That includes bus transportation, a secure and peaceful school facility and “90 extremely kind, loving and predictable adult teachers and staff” says Adri.
It works. For ten years in a row, CHSA has achieved an impressive 100% pass rate on the “matric” graduation exam. The most recent graduating class attained a 72% bachelors pass rate – more than double that of the national bachelors pass rate of 33%. A bachelor pass is required for students to attain college admission. For Adri, seeing students achieve is her biggest satisfaction. “It is just absolutely beautiful.” Adri acknowledges support from donors is critical to that success. “We hold our students for 18 years – 13 at school and 5 beyond,” she says. “That needs full donor support.”
Except for four years when she was at college, Leanna Leatherbury has been part of Christel House Academy South in Indianapolis since she entered the school as a second grader. A 2015 graduate, she’s returned – as a teacher. “I’m not the student anymore,” she smiles. Now she’s known as Miss L. and Leanna feels the shared experience helps her connect with students. “I relate to the kids because I went to Christel House,” she says. Working with her students, Leanna sets strong standards to excel in her class. But she also brings understanding and empathy to the challenges and issues her students face. “It’s amazing to be able to work with kids, especially the kids that go to Christel House,” she says. “It’s just a great experience after being one of those kids,” she admits. Leanna is proud of her career choice and her success. “To see where I came from to where I am now…this was the best decision to teach here.”